Eliza Sherlock worked in the insurance business while writing fiction in her spare time. Her part-time creative pursuit became full-time in 2013 when she left to begin a writing career. This debut short story collection marks her first published work. Her short stories have been accepted by Liphar and she is presently revising her exiting body of short and long fiction, as well as developing new material.
An art enthusiast, she is a patron and collector, supporting artistic endeavor in its many forms. In addition to her love for the written word, she enjoys paintings, sculpture, and the performing arts. Extensive travel has taken her abroad where she explores the historical, architectural and artistic heritage of the countries she visits. A first generation American of British descent, her mother is from Bradford, Yorkshire and her father is from London. They made their life in Hartford, Connecticut where Eliza and her sisters grew up. Educated in Connecticut and the United Kingdom, she met her husband while studying in England. They have made their life in the United States and return regularly to England. Eliza and her husband live in Farmington, Connecticut.
“An often beautiful and insightful set of stories about people both lonely and in love.”
– Kirkus Reviews
Sherlock’s debut short story collection examines characters who push forward, no matter how strongly memory holds them back.
In these tales, a man suffering from a brain trauma distances himself from his sister and navigates his isolation in a world that seems to have left him behind; a retiree turns to sculpture for self-expression, much to the chagrin of his housing community and at the expense of a friendship; and a middle-aged man accompanies his parents on a cruise, trying to cut the cord, with the probable breakup of his marriage hovering in the background. Many of these tales refreshingly put middle-aged characters front and center, whether it’s an heiress conned by her Irish cousin, or a wife discovering that her husband has a second family and that her own life is a sham. There are nods to other works of literature in each of these stories, including a Mark Twain enthusiast, a Harriet Beecher Stowe tour, along with burgeoning authors, English professors, and Shakespearean quotes. These touches could have seemed too self-aware, but instead they’re kind reminders that literature shows us how to live. Profound wisdom bookends these stories, although some are dragged down by too many needless details and back story that take away from the depth of emotion. One of Sherlock’s strengths, however, is believable, rich dialogue. This is an author who knows her characters well, whether they’re minor or major, and who has shaped their individual voices. Nowhere is this command of character more pronounced than in the title story, which may also be the one with the most depth. It explores a relationship between a mother and her daughter who has Alzheimer’s—a role reversal that’s beautiful and saddening. Their mental estrangement between is only reconciled with music, even if those moments of calm are fleeting.
An often beautiful and insightful set of stories about people both lonely and in love.
Pub Date: March 8, 2015
Page count: 300pp
Review Posted Online: July 13, 2015
Favorite line from a book
We say of some things that they can't be forgiven, or that we will never forgive ourselves. But we do--we do it all the time. Alice Munro - Dear Life.Kirkus Review, 2015
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